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Remarks on Signing a Memorandum on Addressing China's Laws, Policies, Practices, and Actions Related to Intellectual Property, Innovation, and Technology and an Exchange With Reporters

August 14, 2017

The President. Well, thank you very much, Ambassador Lighthizer, Secretary Mnuchin, Secretary Ross, Congressman Issa, and distinguished guests: Thank you all for being here. This is a very important moment. We're going to be fulfilling another campaign promise by taking firm steps to ensure that we protect the intellectual property of American companies and, very importantly, of American workers.

The theft of intellectual property by foreign countries costs our Nation millions of jobs and billions and billions of dollars each and every year. For too long, this wealth has been drained from our country while Washington has done nothing. They have never done anything about it. But Washington will turn a blind eye no longer.

Today I'm directing the United States Trade Representative to examine China's policies, practices, and actions with regard to the forced transfers of American technology and the theft of American intellectual property. As President of the United States, it's my duty and responsibility to protect the American workers, technology, and industry from unfair and abusive actions.

We will stand up to any country that unlawfully forces American companies to transfer their valuable technology as a condition of market access. We will combat the counterfeiting and piracy that destroys American jobs, we will enforce the rules of fair and reciprocal trade that form the foundation of responsible commerce, and we will protect forgotten Americans who have been left behind by a global trade system that has failed to look—and I mean look—out for their interests. They have not been looking out at all.

This is what I promised to do as a candidate for this office, and this is what I am doing right now as President. Ambassador Lighthizer, you are empowered to consider all available options at your disposal. We will safeguard the copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and other intellectual property that is so vital to our security and to our prosperity. We will uphold our values, we will defend our workers, and we will protect the innovations, creations, and inventions that power our magnificent country.

Thank you, and God bless America. Thank you all very much. It's a very big move. Thank you.

And this is just the beginning. I want to tell you that. This is just the beginning.

[At this point, the President signed the memorandum.]

Where's Raytheon? Raytheon, congratulations.

[The President handed the pen to Thomas A. Kennedy, chairman and chief executive officer of Raytheon Co.]

You've really done fantastic. You have done fantastic.

Situation in Charlottesville, VA Q. Mr. President, can you explain why you did not condemn those hate groups by name over the weekend?

The President. They've been condemned. They have been condemned.

News Media

Q. And why are we not having a press conference today? You said, on Friday, we'd have a press conference.

The President. We had a press conference. We just had a press conference.

Q. Can we ask you some more questions then, sir?

The President. It doesn't bother me at all, but you know, I like real news, not fake news. You're fake news. Thank you, everybody. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 3:03 p.m. in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer; Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin; and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, Jr.

Donald J. Trump, Remarks on Signing a Memorandum on Addressing China's Laws, Policies, Practices, and Actions Related to Intellectual Property, Innovation, and Technology and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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